One of the things I like the most in Norway is recycling. The Norwegians are recycling almost everything ´ when they can, and the very best part of it, is that they do it selflessly and without laying any eye on economical rewards. Luckily enough, we have great recycling facilities on our housing complex, and we always try to do our best helping the situation. Some days ago, I noticed some scratches on one of the rubbish bags, and curiously enough, I asked my wife if she knew of any cats existence on the area. The answer was unexpected: ¨Kråker!¨ Kråker is norwegian for crows and the very best part of it, was that I understood what my wife was talking about. You see, ¨kråke¨ sounds very much to the greek word for it ¨koraki¨ and I immediately started searching for the words´ etymological root.
Indeed, the norse word ¨kråke¨ meets its´ origin to the hellenic word ¨koraki¨ (Κοράκι), but lets see first how the word ended up to this form. The ancient greek term for crow, is kòrax (Κόραξ) and it is the first part of the word Kor- (Indo-European) that actually is the main skeleton to all after-versions of the term, with clearly proven the fact, that it´s a word of audial imitating creation, due to the sound that a crow does.
The term Kórax was widely used in the hellenic area, but there were some places, where the word that was used for the same animal, was Kórvos (Κόρβος), including the polis (city-state) of Kýmē (pron. Kími). As we all know, the Latin alphabet was based on the Ionian-Aeolean dialect that was used in Euboea (pron. Évia). Important here is to notice that the equivalent of all hellenic words that finish on -ΟΣ (-os), is -US in latin (de facto), due to the usage of genitive case (genitivus casus) of the hellenic words by the Latinos. e.g el. Σπάρτακος (Spártakos) -> ltn. Spartacus
So, indeed the latin version of Κόρβος (Kórvos) was Corvus, but still, even with the expansion of the Roman Republic to the West, and later of the Roman Empire to the North, the word was not used as such yet, but the root of what we know today as ¨Raven¨.
Raven comes from the Old English (Mercian) Hræfn, and Hræfn with its´ own turn derives from the Northumbrian (western Saxon) Hrefn, a word of protogermanic origin as Khrabanas. It was not until the upcoming of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) era, (De Facto language was the hellenic one) when the ancient greek Korax was used as Koraki and through the North Frisian Gräkriak (Grä Kriak - Grey Crow), we have today the Norwegian Kråken. ₪